Directions passed from excited whispers have led you to an unassuming cave south of Elexia on the border of the southern forest. Upon entering the mouth of the cave you take a sharp turn and the tunnel beyond is lit with torches. After following the winding pathway for some time you find yourself at a grandly carved archway lit up with magical torches that give off no smoke and burn red. At the top of the arch, words are embossed in bold script.
STRENGTH BEFORE HONOR
As you pass under the words you see the area beyond opens up into a large cavern with several tunnels branching in different directions. People of all the races that inhabit Bakara mill around the area, trading or visiting the many bookies to place their bets, or simply conversing about the last match or the one to come.
In the center of the cavern even among the hustle and bustle a human man in his fifties clearly stands out as the one in charge. The man is wearing polished reinforced chittin armor that seems glow slightly as it shifts slowly through the color spectrum. He's tall and lean, but you get the impression he's as hard as iron and sharp as barbed wire. To those close to him he's known as Thelos Greystar. But since no one has been close to him in ages he's simply known as "Ringmaster."
Next to Ringmaster is a large board that lists current contenders and their rankings in the pits. On the left side of the board it listed sapient contenders and on the right it listed animals entered into the fights.
Behind Ringmaster is another board, this one listed the rewards earned by completing each tier (These are yet unconfirmed and are subject to change.).
Tier 1. Regenerative Orb - A glassy orb filled with a pulsating pink light. When crushed in a person's hand they are filled with healing energy, any wounds they suffer for the next seven posts seal up rapidly as if the Heal spell were used on them. Tier 2. Strength Orb - A glassy orb filled with a pulsating peach colored light. When crushed in a person's hand they feel their strength being increased by a level for the rest of the encounter. Can be used in conjunction with Strengthen or Empower but not both. Tier 3. 50 gold Tier 4. Flight Orb - A glassy orb filled with a pulsating silver light. When crushed in a person's hand they find that they can manipulate the air around their body to allow them to fly for a day. (In character time.) Tier 5. Nemesian Orb - A glassy orb filled with pulsing blue light. It can be crushed to meld oneself or one's pet with a summoned form of the monster you fought. Tier 6. 100 gold Tier 7. Phasing Orb - A glassy orb filled with a pulsating golden light. When crushed in a person's hand their body becomes haloed in a golden light and their form blurs. For the next 7 posts physical damage against you is halved and you do a great deal more damage to spiritual creatures. Tier 8. Grounding Orb - A glassy orb filled with a shifting grey light. When crushed in a person's hand their body becomes darker and more dense. For the next 7 posts, their skin becomes like stone, their bones like iron and their effective weight triples. (If the users skin or bones are already this hard of harder, they instead increase by one modifier.) Tier 9. 200 gold Tier 10. Champion's Mantle - Custom armouring, apparel or beast restraint. Powers determined by DarkAbyssKeeper and based at least partly on either or both Nemesis Foes.
It didn't take long for whispers of a new challenge to reach his ears. He hadn't even made it past the lobby of Pender's Arena before he overheard some combatants boasting that they had already slew the red-eyed black dragon that served as the Pits ultimate confrontation. The shemite doubted the validity of the man's boast, but shemites love challenges, and shemites love rumors, and even one practiced in humility such as Roshem Ma'adir Kabar could not resist the urge to seek out the Harrowing Pits.
The direction he was given were poor and misleading, but with some exploration Roshem finally came upon the proper cave. He passed through the cave and crowds until he came upon the Ringmaster, and greeted him with deep bow and statement of his name.
"I am one that wish is to be on your wall of rankings, so that others might know his name. I am a combatant, friend, and I seek fortunes, glory, and above else a story." Roshem gave a modest nod as he spoke.
Ringmaster's smile extended to his eyes for just a moment.
Ringmaster - "You're not much in the way of size, but I don't mind you giving it a try. Understand that these fights are real and we have fighters die daily... If you still want your story to continue here, go ahead over to the first tunnel over there and I'll set up your first fight."
**Misty walks into the cave. She heard this place was seedy but she hadn't expected it to be.. this seedy. But it was fast, and she needed to get better at fighting anyway. A.. deathmatch.. tourney might be a little much though..**
Ringmaster's iron eyes held her like a prison and misty felt a torrent of sorrow and fury flow from the man that likely surprised her as his face held a natural smile. From what he said next he clearly knew her heritage.
Ringmaster - "You've come to the right place young demoness, have you come to watch?"
The steely eyes didn't betray a hint of emotion but the young fenette felt almost overwhelmed by the flow of feelings from the man. She had a strange inkling he knew she could see more than most and it displeased him even if it didn't show on the marble cold surface of his face.
Ringmaster - "Of course it's allowed, The crowd entrance to the main arena is through there, though if you mean to enter the fights you'll be going through there. When you decide you're ready come back and see me."
His tone was extremely cordial and seemed without strain or distress.
A large garr made his way into the hidden arches tucked within the damp cave off the coast of Bakara. The warrior wore no shoes and his clothing was sleeveless and plain, a chain of iron cinched round his waist. He approached the ringmaster.
The man turned coolly away from Misty and looked up at the giant.
Ringmaster - "I do indeed... Though I doubt you'll find your first fights challenging, mountain of a man that you are. Sign up sheet is right here for the first tier and then you can go through there, we've actually got an opening for you in the next few minutes if you're ready."